The app recently launched by Facebook, Hobbi, an experiment in creating content in short form on personal projects, hobbies and other Pinterest-y content, is already closing. The app first came to iOS in February as one of several launches from Facebook’s internal research and development group, the NPE team.
Hobbi users have now been notified via push notification that the app will close on July 10, 2020. The app allows users to export their data from their settings.
In just a few months it was released on the U.S. App Store, Hobbi only gained 7,000 downloads, according to Sensor Tower estimates. Apptopia also reported that the app had less than 10 KB of downloads and made minimal gains in May and June.
Although Hobbi has clearly taken cues from Pinterest, it was not designed to be a wall of inspiring ideas. Instead, Hobbi users would organize photos of their projects ̵
The end result would be a culmination of all those phases that could be published externally upon completion of the project.
But Hobbi was a rather bare app. There was nothing else to do but document your plans. It was not possible to browse and watch projects created by other users, in addition to some examples, nor was it possible to follow the best users through the service. And the documentation tools were also underdeveloped. In addition to a special “Notes” field to write the steps of a project, the app experience seemed like a watered down version of Stories.
Facebook wasn’t the only one pursuing the potential of creative content in abbreviated form. Google’s internal research and development group, Area 120, has also released its own experiment in this area with the Tangi video app. And Pinterest was recently seen testing a new version of Story Pins, which would allow users to display DIY and creative content in a similar way.
It is not surprising to see the Hobbi relax so quickly, given its lack of traction. Facebook has previously said that its experiments with the NPE team would involve apps that have changed very quickly and will close if consumers don’t find them useful.
In addition to Hobbi, the NPE team has launched a number of apps since last summer, including meme maker Whale, the Bump conversation app, the Aux music app, the tuned couple app, the Apple Watch app, the CatchUp audio calling app, the Collab collaborative music app, Live event companion venue and forecast app. Before Hobbi, the only one to close was Bump. (Some don’t even live in the United States.)
Of course, Facebook may not want to use these experiments to create a completely new set of social apps built from scratch. Instead, it is likely that he is trying to collect data on what features resonate with users and how the different authoring tools are used. This data may inform the development of Facebook functionality for its main set of apps, such as Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram.
We contacted Facebook for comment, but one had not been provided at the time of publication.